E Bozo çkim mangana
Vavaça divu Nana
şa isterit kaybana
He’pe gogisvan na’ti
Ciraten muçoş ordo
Golulun kayiş Çana..?
Nana mut mo miçumer
Ko giçkin canger Karfi
Laşungis nuku gyaktu
Mat tuça Lu momaktu
Var giçkini do guris
Misa dov ya uçumer..!!?
He’pe şkas ko ni’bacgu
Onna si gogihtare
Guris mu mega’bacgu..?
Ondğener gyar momikti
Var giçkini oropaş
çkar mitiz tol var acğu..!!
Ar hekol elinkanu
Ar hakol oncğor hvala
Mendiçkedu mit va’ren
Ğocis na nohen vava
Ar gohvelu duskidu
Tuça Lu ncaher Sarğa..!!
Çkomil isa gavasen
Gurişen nena moyğaşkul kayiş
Var tkvanon nudruku
Daçonu do oskidu hayiş..!!
Mu gorum ma giçumeri çe ağnose?
Moyselaşkul muşen çarbi horum…?
Mutuş otkuşen gur var giğun na izmoce
Var ciromi mcveşişikal oğuru…?
Pote Koçoba var mebaşkumer
Ha leta isaş Menthel uhenu
Gemdgan na gzstaronis kva te Hener
Gza muşima ptkvar si mu çarçalam…?
This is a sample of poetry in this language.
This language has anywhere from 30-300,000 speakers. It is on the decline as it does not have any status at all in the countries where it is spoken. It probably separated from its nearest relatives 2,000 speakers. It is spoken by a particular ethnic group, but the ethnic group is as little known as the language.
It is spoken in mountainous areas of the Near East. Oh Hell, I will give you a massive clue…one of the places where it is spoken is Turkey!
Ok go to it folks…see if you can figure out what this weird language from outer space is.
7 thoughts on “What Language Is This?”
Even without that massive hint, I know it’d be somehow connected to the Turkish language family. Too bad it’s not official Turkish which was my first response.
I’ll go with Circassian. Because I’m not aware of any other minority languages of Turkey.
They also speak Kurdish in that country but it has millions of speakers.
It’s not even Turkic at all. It just uses a Turkic like alphabet.
Circassian is not far off. It’s a North Caucasian language and this language is Laz, a South Caucasian or Kartvelian language. Closely related to Georgian. There are many non-Turkish languages spoken in Turkey – at least 15 significant ones.
Yes, it is Laz. How did you know that? I know you are Turkish. But how did you know that it was Laz? You recognize the Laz language when you see it as a Turk?
The ş and ç and the words suggest that it is a Turkic language because ş and ç are modified letters used in Turkish. They represent respectively sh and ch respectively. However, I couldn’t tell you what small Turkic languages are spoken in Turkey. When I think of the languages of Turkey, I think of Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian and Greek. The last three are probably near extinction. That’s the best that I can do without cheating.
The language is Laz. It’s closely related to Georgian. A Kartvelian language. It’s a Karto-Zan language within Kartvelian and within Karto-Zan, it is a Zan language. Zan includes Laz and Mingrelian. Laz is in pretty bad shape as it is not recognized by the Turkish government and frankly the Turkish government has been trying to stomp it out since Ataturk as it has done with every language that is not Turkish.
It’s also spoken in Ajara in Georgia, but it has no status there either, as Georgia is like Turkey undergoing a nation-building process of a nation-state where there will be one people, one language, one religion, one culture, etc. Everyone will have to turn into a Georgian. That’s one reason why the South Ossetians and the Abkhaz split away from Georgia. I don’t blame them.
The alphabet is a red herring. Laz is a Kartvelian language, not a Turkic language. They simply adopted a variation of the Turkish alphabet to write their language is all.
Not many other Turkic languages spoken in Turkey. Nogay, Turkish Crimean Tatar, and Kyrgyz come to mind.
I am a Turco-Laz half-breed. There are at least half to close to one million people like me. I identify as a son of the homeland and as any particular ethnicity. This is also the primal identity adopted by almost all Lazes, who see themselves ethnically Laz only secondarily. Let’s put it his way: Black Sea people’s loyalty is more territorial than ethnic, just like cats.
FYI: Laz is not related to Turkish or any other Turkic language. It is part of the Kartvelian linguistic family, consisting of Georgian, Svan, and the Mingrelian-Laz twin peoples. The single substantial difference between the last two being that Mingrelians remained Orthodox, while Laz converted to Islam in late 15th and 16th century; otherwise the discrepancy is solely dialectal.
Laz people live on Northeastern Black Sea coast, actually at the eastern end towards the Turkish-Georgian frontier. This region has always been multi-cultural just as Anatolia used to be, only somewhat more so; even if superficially it is less obvious nowadays.
The local populace was originally mainly Tzans, a rather obscure culture, apparently resulting from an amalgamation of indigenous populace with immigrating/invading Cimmerians, westward-advancing Kartvelians and perhaps some other not well-known tribes ancestral to both Mingrelians and Laz in Antiquity when Greek colonizers founded practically all cities and most of the towns.
Today, you may find Turks (Alevi Turcomans forcibly relocated there by the Ottoman empire in 16th century who converted to Sunnism, except for a few thousand who remained Alevi) and other people of Turkic origin like my late father who told me his paternal lineage emigrated from Northern Dagestan and was either Nogay or Kumyk.
In addition, there are now Lazes, Georgians, Armenians (Hemshinids Islamicized long ago and some others forcibly assimilated to Turks in 1915), and Islamized Greeks, to mention only the most numerous.
Let’s put it this way – we are accustomed to quite a wide diversity of ethnicities in our country and especially in my parents’ native region, even if the official doctrine still tends to disregard the fact, and while it is not outright denial as in the past, a more subtle denial yet exists.